Charity begins at home
Since we started running events, I really wanted to use them as a platform to raise money for different charities that had a personal connection in the local area.
Each charity features on our website. Below you can read more about each one.
In these strange and uncertain times at the moment I look around and realise I’m lucky of what I have in life. I am always grateful and never take anything for granted, and working with these charities has felt very inspiring.
Keswick Care Home - Great Bookham
Back in 2017, Friends of Dorking kindly donated a 7 foot Christmas tree which sat in pride of place at our Christmas Market.
Each stallholder gave a contribution which was given to the carers and some lovely guests (Audrey , Rene and Rose) from Keswick House on the day of the market for a raffle at their Christmas Fair the following week.
The tree was then delivered courtesy of Flowers by Elaine. It was really great to give them this and we received such a warm welcome; a very special moment!
In January 2019 we planned a Fitness & Wellbeing event that brought all types of "keeping fit" ideas working to promote local business. One that remains vital and so especially now is Dorking Minds .
No one with mental health issues should feel isolated or alone.
Dorking & District Health project are a charity that aims to help with services and support to enable people in the area to take control of their mental health.
Pippfest / CHIP
Since 2018 we have been lucky to be part of Pippfest, bringing the community together with Chip CIC a community interest company for Mole Valley , set up to raise funds to acquire Pippbrook House and to make possible its running for use by the local community.
This is such a fantastic event each year, bringing creatives, artists and musicians together each year.
In October 2018 ago we asked people to bring food along to the Harvest event to donate to the Dorking Area Food Bank.
We were astonished by the generosity of those who attended and those exhibiting!
Number Five Project
At our 2018 Christmas Market we wanted to work with a homeless charity and whilst this isn't as evident in Dorking, it is very prominent in Guildford.
For this event we supported Number Five Project, which is a direct access night shelter for homeless men & women over the age of 18 who offer a short term emergency accommodation with support. We decided to do a shoe box donation and to fill it with suitable items, gift cards , Amazon wish list or donate directly once again people were very generous.
In 2019 we created several events at Clandon Wood, one to showcase local businesses and the other an Arts and Craft Open Day set in a tranquil and beautiful setting.
At both events a donation was made to The Brigitte Trust a charity to help people at the end of life in their own homes, offering support and respite to their carers and emotional support to the wider family too.
RSPCA Surrey East
For our Harvest event 2019 at Dorking Halls, we supported RSPCA Surrey East,
a centre that is run entirely on the work and dedication of trustees and volunteers.
They look to re home animals and find their forever homes. Books and collection of donations were very much appreciated on the day.
The Hygiene Bank
For our Christmas market 2019, we were approached by The Hygiene Bank for Surrey & Sussex, a grass root charity supporting 200 families and individuals in Surrey Hills alone.
We asked everyone to bring along a small toiletry gift set or fill a bag, fluffy socks , a gift card , warm gloves or to make a donation to make a difference to someone in need.
Positioned at the entrance they provided an additional welcome to the event and lots of gifts were donated as well as full donation tins.
With all what was going on in the crazy world of 2020, we were waiting to find a charity for both events happening later at the end of the year.
Then we received an email and then after some phone calls and a meeting at Dorking Halls with Cherry Trees located in Clandon it was a perfect match !
Cherry Trees is a children’s charity that supports families with a child with complex disabilities and/or learning disabilities, aged between 0 to 19 years of age, through the provision of short breaks and respite care. The charity’s main aim is to prevent family breakdown, ensuring they remain together, all able to cope with life.
When a child goes to Cherry Trees their parents can properly relax knowing their child is well taken care of, thanks to the experienced supervision of caring staff, healthy home cooked food and activities to join in with.
The bright and homely house is a happy, fun and supportive environment and is also a place where all visiting children are encouraged to grow, make friends and gain new experiences.
Currently supporting 90 families, Cherry Trees are leaders in their field, remaining open each and every day of the COVID-19 pandemic since national lockdown was introduced thanks to robust and safe working policies and measures to be COVID safe, in keeping with all evolving government guidelines.
You will find them on at both events on stand 27 selling hand made cards made by the children and other items , raising awareness of the charity , collecting donations and something specila planned for Christmas.
Thanks for taking to read more about these amazing charities, the stars in a sometimes dark sky.
It's been a privilege to work with them and to champion their work!
Have a great weekend.